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March 28, 2019

4 Tips for Launching and Growing a Successful IT Side Hustle

How to Build a Successful IT Side Hustle

The business world has changed tremendously over the last 10 or 15 years. Millions of people are doing side gigs and freelance work in addition to their primary jobs. As an IT professional, there are plenty of opportunities for you to do the same.

Why Add a Side Hustle?

When you’re happily employed and in a groove at work, it’s easy to sit back and relax a bit. After all, there’s no reason to rock the boat when everything is comfortable. But if you’ve never considered picking up a side hustle, you’re overlooking an opportunity to maximize your full potential.

It’s estimated that over one-third of millennials now have a side hustle or extra income-earning gig. And if you’re in the IT industry, you have plenty of opportunities to join the club. But why would you do such a thing? We can think of a few reasons:

  • Extra income. Let’s start with the most obvious benefit: money. When you add a side gig to your current day job, you have the opportunity to increase your monthly income. Even if it’s just a few hundred dollars a month, you may be able to upgrade your lifestyle some.
  • Increased skillset. When you branch out and do something on your own, you’ll notice that you’re able to quickly refine, grow, and improve your skillset. So while there will be some bump along the way, you’ll ultimately learn more in the long run.
  • Larger network. As you go out and start your own side hustle, you’ll meet new people – clients, business partners, business owners, entrepreneurs, etc. This will enhance your network and may even provide additional opportunities in the future.
  • Professional satisfaction. Most people with side hustles get immense satisfaction in what they’re doing. If you feel like you’re missing something at your day job, a side hustle could infuse meaning and purpose back into your professional life.

IT Side Hustle Ideas

Depending on your skillset, passions, and experience, there are a variety of side hustles you could launch within and around the IT industry. Examples include:

  • IT consulting. Do you know a lot about IT as it pertains to business growth and development? You may be able to do a little IT consulting for small businesses on the side.
  • Configuration. Whether for small businesses or everyday people, there’s always the opportunity to help others configure their hardware and software systems. This is probably something that comes quite naturally to you – so it could be a rather easy and effortless opportunity.
  • Tech support. There’s a huge demand for tech support jobs right now. In fact, they’re projected to grow by 11 percent between now and 2026. But you don’t have to go work for a helpdesk company to capitalize on this opportunity. You may be able to launch a side hustle and pick up some clients on the side.
  • QA testing. Do you have an intimate understanding of how websites, systems, applications, and programs work? You could find some opportunity in quality assurance (testing) for tech companies and programmers.
  • Blogging. If you’re particularly skilled at writing and communicating ideas, perhaps you could start a blog or YouTube (News - Alert) channel in the IT niche? If you build up a large enough audience, there’s major opportunity to monetize.

4 Tips for Side Hustle Success

It’s one thing to start a side hustle. But if you want your side hustle to be successful, you need a plan. Here are a few tips to help you experience success from the start:

1. Prioritize Your Time

When you’re working a full-time job and running a side hustle, you have to prioritize your time through purposeful scheduling. Your full-time job obviously takes precedence, but you’ll need to set aside a certain number of hours per week to keep your side hustle profitable. Build this time into your schedule and treat it as an offshoot of your day job.

2. Focus on Professionalism

One of the biggest challenges with a side hustle – at least in the early days – is making yourself look bigger and more professional than you really are. There are some specific ways you can do this:

  • Create a website, social media profiles, and all of the basic online information you need to look the part.
  • Stay organized and document absolutely everything. When a client comes to you with a question, you should be able to access all relevant files and records within minutes.

As a freelancer, there are advantages to being small and nimble. But for these advantages to work for you – rather than against you – there has to be a serious emphasis on professionalism. Don’t forget this piece of the puzzle.

3. Build a Brand

Even freelancers need to build brands. One day, you won’t want to be so involved. You’ll be looking for passive income earning opportunities. If you lay the groundwork today and build a brand, you can eventually hire other people to work for you and your side hustle will turn into a profitable business that you can manage from a distance.

4. Leave Time for Your Personal Life

Work-life balance is always important – but especially when you have a full-time job and a side hustle. If you aren’t careful, you can spend so much of your time working, that you eventually get burned out.

Be sure to take off at least one full day per week, as well as a couple of waking hours per day. During this time, try your best to disconnect from digital life and enjoy something different – such as reading, hiking, or hanging out with friends.

Stretch Yourself in 2019

As we enter the year, you’re probably thinking about ways you can improve yourself – both personally and professionally. And if you’re looking for a way to grow in both areas of your life, a side hustle could be the perfect solution. It provides a low-risk, high-reward opportunity that’s will stretch you, teach you, and empower you to become the best version of yourself.

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